In Live Address to the Armenian Nation, Pashinyan Announces Heavy Casualties, Thanks Armenia’s Allies

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YEREVAN – Speaking in a 2 p.m. televised address on October 14 broadcast live across Armenia, Pashinyan gave citizens of Armenia and Artsakh his latest in a series of regular updates on developments relating to renewed fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Yerevan residents were able to view the Armenian head of state’s speech as they went about their day thanks to large flatscreen televisions which have been installed in major public spaces such as the Yerevan State Opera, and Republic Square.

Pashinyan’s address was broadcast in public spaces throughout Yerevan thanks to large television screens installed by the government. (Courtesy of Mateos Hayes)

In his speech, Pashinyan summarized the sequence of events which have led to the current conflict, pointing to Turkey’s interference in the war as one of the central factors in exacerbating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: “Unprecedented Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises were launched shortly after the July battles; a large number of Turkish troops and military equipment were transferred to Azerbaijan. […] Turkey decided that it is up to them to deal with the Karabakh issue.”

Pashinyan held Azerbaijan responsible for the collapse of the humanitarian ceasefire announced last Friday following talks between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow: “… Azerbaijan did not adhere to the ceasefire for a second and carried on with the attacks, simultaneously hindering the establishment of a ceasefire monitoring mechanism.”

Pashinyan became somber in his tone when his speech turned to military casualties sustained by Armenia. As of this report, Artsakh Defense Force officials have reported around 532 dead since fighting resumed on September 27. Pashinyan stated: “We have suffered numerous casualties. […] I bow to all our victims, martyrs, their families, their parents, and especially their mothers. I consider their loss my personal loss, the loss of my family.” Pashinyan then adopted a moment of silence as he bowed his head in respect for the war dead.

2. Pashinyan bows in respect of Armenian casualties of the war. (Courtesy of the Press Office of the Government of Armenia)

Pashinyan Gives Thanks

In recognizing the efforts of Armenia’s allies, Pashinyan gave special attention to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom Pashinyan’s administration “have been in close contact during all this time.” The Armenian Prime Minister recognized the Russian Federation’s crucial role as “Armenia’s strategic ally at a high level.” Pashinyan thanked French President Emmanuel Macron “for his determination to name things from the very first days of the and his willingness to make further efforts.”

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Pashinyan declared that Armenians today “are more united than ever,” noting the efforts of the diaspora to support Armenia: “Hundreds of thousands of Armenians [who] are providing financial, economic, media-borne and political support to Armenia and Artsakh. In hundreds of diaspora-based communities, our compatriots are holding peaceful rallies of solidarity, protest and support, with two specific issues on the agenda: international recognition of Artsakh’s independence and condemnation of the Turkish-Azerbaijani terrorist aggression.”

Pashinyan called for a “new heroic battle” such as that of Sardarabad, where Armenian forces routed the forces of the invading Ottoman Army in 1918.

Harkening to the heroes of Armenian national identity, such as Tigran the Great, Hovhannes Baghramyan, and Monte Melkonyan, Pashinyan declared in a fiery tone, “we must win!”

The full speech of Pashinyan follows.

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